Swedish prosecutors said Tuesday they were charging an Iranian man for “war crimes and murder” over the execution of more than 100 political prisoners in 1988 in Karaj, Iran.
The case against 60-year-old Hamid Noury, who was arrested in Sweden in November 2019, concerns his part in the mass killings of prisoners towards the end of the 1980-1988 war between Iran and Iraq.
Noury was arrested upon his arrival at the airport in Stockholm, with Swedish media reporting at the time that he was visiting relatives.
In the summer of 1988, Islamic Republic of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini “issued an order to execute all prisoners held in Iranian prisons who sympathised with and were loyal in their convictions to the Mujahedin,” according to Swedish prosecutors.
Noury held the position of “assistant to the deputy prosecutor at the Gohardasht prison,” on the outskirts of Karaj, west of Tehran, the statement said.
“The accused is suspected of participating, together with other perpetrators, in these mass executions and, as such, intentionally taking the lives of a large number of prisoners, who sympathised with the Mujahedin and, additionally, of subjecting prisoners to severe suffering which is deemed torture and inhuman treatment,” it said.
In the charge sheet, seen by AFP, Prosecutor Kristina Lindhoff Carleson said that these actions constituted a violation of the Geneva Conventions.
Facing him in the trial is a group of more than 30 plaintiffs and 30 witnesses, made up of former prisoners who witnessed the atrocities and relatives of victims.
Following the mass executions, and after a ceasefire between Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraqi government, the Iranian leadership also decided that other political prisoners “who sympathised with various left wing groups and were regarded as apostates by the Iranian leadership, should be executed.”
Prosecutors said Noury, in his role at the prison, was also complicit in the killings that followed..
“These acts are classified as murder according to the Swedish Penal Code since they are not considered to be related to an armed conflict,” the prosecutor statement said..